People listen to music to fulfill a variety of needs such as emotional comfort, social bonding, and leisurely enjoyment (Brown, 2006; Wang, Peterson, & Morphey, 2007). The concept of how music preferences are formed has called into question biological predispositions and social conformity (Carpentier, Knobloch, & Zillmann, 2003; Schäfer & Sedlmeier, 2010), however parental influence on choosing music preferences has largely been ignored. The impact of parental music preferences and the strength of the parent-child relationship on children’s music choices can help lead to new information about how parents can be a positive role model for their children in other lifestyle choices that may have persisting consequences. The study by Wang, Peterson, and Morphey (2007) showed that although seventh grade students made short-term decisions such as clothing style and music preference from the influence of their peers, they made decisions with long-term consequences such as alcohol use and smoking from the influence of their parents. The purpose of this study is to examine the role of parent-child bonding and parental music preferences and if there is a relationship to how children choose the music they enjoy.
Music preference has a large impact on our everyday lives, whether it is music we choose to listen to, the song on a television commercial, or the song that comes on the radio while driving to and from work. The age-old question of whether music preference determines behavior or behavior determines music preference then comes into question. The type of music listened to can be a determinant of behavior. Our behaviors then lead to associations with the song and the associations, whether good or bad, then lead to whether or not the music selection is preferred. Parents can play a role in creating these associations by pairing good or bad responses with different types of behaviors in their children.
Music and Behavior
Many studies have been done to find out if there is a relationship between music and behavior. The field of music therapy has come about as a way to help alter thinking patterns and behaviors by means of music. A study took place looking for influences from hip-hop on the behavior and thinking patterns of middle-school students (Brown, 2006). The students in this study reported that they did not think the content in the music they listen to has an effect on their behavior or lifestyle choices. However, a study by Schäfer and Sedlmeier (2010) reported different results. This study found that the music selection the listeners preferred the most was reported to represent the listener’s self-identity (Schäfer & Sedlmeier, 2010). The study by Craig (2009) reinforces this concept by exploring which type of emotional reactions deemed the song more meaningful. The results found that any song that elicited an emotional reaction was found more meaningful than a song that did not elicit an emotional reaction (Schäfer & Sedlmeier, 2010). ...